Acting for Children is an ongoing research project led by Jeremy Harrison. Jeremy is Chair of the TYA Centre and Subject Specialist for Rose Bruford College’s MA in Theatre for Young Audiences. He and a team of staff have also been developing a new module focusing on acting for children and young people that will be introduced into the NCDT accredited Acting and Actor Musicianship Programmes at the college in 2013.
The project aims to explore what, if anything, is distinctive about performing for young audiences, asking the question: do our current actor training models adequately prepare the emerging actor for work in this sector? It will be used to inform the developing curricula of both the MA and under graduate modules as well as adding to knowledge about this largely ignored area of theatre practice.
To date the only English language book dealing specifically with this area is David Wood and Janet Grant’s Theatre For Children: a guide to writing, adapting, directing and acting (Ivan R. Dee 1999). This book whilst important only begins to answer the question. The ideas outlined relate to Wood’s work and practice, which is text based and largely performed in theatre buildings, often for large family audiences. Participation is a feature, but is mainly written in. He writes predominantly for children between 5 – 11 year olds. As such it ignores the very specific aesthetic seen in work for early years and teenagers. It also avoids consideration of devised and participatory models of practice, as well as site-specific and immersive work, theatre in education and work that prioritises non-verbal and physical performance techniques.
Acting For Children seeks to explore a range of current practices. The methodology employed is to document practical workshops and lectures given by practitioners, who collectively represent a broad range of working methodologies, for a variety of audiences.
An outline of each event and edited clips have been published by the centre on this page and film of each event in full, has been archived and is available on request.
- the realisation of conclusions distilled from the project in RBC’s undergrad and post graduate taught provision;
- Dissemination through the centre and at other sector focused events;
- Evidence gathered during the project will also be used to inform articles and papers produced by the centre.